- Benoit Le Bars

Ordinary people barely talk about international arbitration, which is largely unknown to the public. Yet, this is precisely what Martin Borgs, a Swedish moviemaker brilliantly does in his documentary that unfolds the origins of this lesser known dispute resolution mechanism and its valuable role in promoting peace, development and international trade.

He reminds us that beyond legal systems, frontiers, cultures or civilizations, the origin of international arbitration stems from a nation’s quest for an instrument to resolve or prevent international crises (armed or not), and to promote peace and shared growth. For centuries, international arbitration played a discrete but essential role by allowing peaceful and constructive relationships between nations to be possible. We often forget this crucial point, during these troubled times when there is concern for our security, our sovereignty, and sometimes our identity.

However, by virtue of harmonized rules, arbitration is an essential factor for the progress of international trade and development. Following major conflicts that occurred the war of independence in the United-States or the creation of the United Nations following the Second World War, arbitration established itself. Great awards have resolved boundary disputes, environmental disputes or, more discreetly, contractual disputes between international trade actors.

By looking through the origins of arbitration, we will certainly have the wisdom to preserve its effectiveness.

View the documentary